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Wuhou Shrine

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Wuhou Shrine Introduction

Wuhou Shrine, located in Wuhou District of Chengdu, can be dated back to 223 AD when the Mausoleum of Liu Bei was constructed. Over more than 1,000 years, it was destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions. As the prime minister of the Shu-Han Kingdom, Zhuge Liang was granted the title of "Marquis Wuxiang" in his lifetime and "Marquis Zhongwu" after his death, so the temple of Zhuge Liang was respectfully named as "Wuhou Shrine". Built before the Tang Dynasty, Wuhou Shrine (dedicated to Zhuge Liang) originally neighbored the Zhaolie Temple (dedicated to Zhaolie Emperor, Liu Bei) and integrated into "Zhaolie Temple of Han Dynasty" when rebuilt in the early Ming Dynasty, which contributes to the existing joint temple of Emperor and Minister of Wuhou Shrine. Wuhou Shrine is China's only joint temple of Emperor and Minister for the memory of Zhuge Liang, Liubei and the heroes of the Shu-Han Kingdom and also the China's most influential museum of the relics during the Three Kingdoms Period.

Wuhou Shrine Chengdu

Wuhou Shrine is adjacent to Zhaolie Temple of Han Dynasty and the Mausoleum of Liu Bei. The main body of Wuhou Shrine is divided into five sections, facing south and distributing on a central axis from south to north: the Gate, the second Gate, the Hall of Liu Bei, the corridor, and the Hall of Zhuge Liang, among which the Hall of Liu Bei is the highest and the most magnificent.

Above the Gate of Wuhou Shrine there is an inscribed board which reads "Zhaolie Temple of Han Dynasty". Inside the Gate, there are 6 stone tablets standing upright in the shady clump. The largest one set up in 805AD is a highly valuable cultural relic and rated as a national first-class culture relic. With the exquisite text, handwriting and sculpting skill, it is called the Tablet of Triple Success, because the text was originally composed by Peidu who was a famous minister of the Tang Dynasty, handwritten by a famous calligrapher Liu Gongchuo, and then sculpted on the tablet by a noted engraver Lu Jian. The tablet inscription is a praising statement about the lifetime of Zhuge Liang, eulogizing his morality, his nobler character as well as his political and military achievements to stimulate the rulers of the Tang Dynasty. Zhuge Liang is admired by later generations because of his honorable thoughts and acts as well as his morality of never abusing power for personal gains.

Wuhou Shrine Chengdu

As soon as visitors walk into the Gate of Wuhou Shrine, the majestic Zhaolie Temple will come into view. In the middle, there is the gilding statue of Liu Bei, 3 meters high with solemn and well-shaped appearance and ears down to the shoulder, on the left side of which is the stature of his grandson Liu Chen. Originally the stature of his grandson Liu Chan was also aside, but removed afterwards by the local officials of Sichuan in the reign of Emperor Song Zhenzong and never built again as Liu Chan was fatuous and incompetent, humiliated the nation and forfeited its sovereignty. The statures of Guan Yu, Guan Ping and Zhou Cang stand in the east side chamber while the statues of the three generations of Zhang Fei stand on the right side chamber, presenting the different appearances and characters of Guan Yu and Zhang Fei and also representing their common characteristics such as remarkable military skills and intrepid personality. In the bungalows on the two sides, there are 14 statues of the civilian officials and military officials of the Shu-Han Kingdom, with the statue of the civilian official Pang Tong as the lead in the east side bungalow and the military official Zhao Yun as the lead in the west side bungalow. Each statue is as high as the real person, with a small stone tablet in front detailing the name and lifetime to make it easy for visitors to understand.

With a few steps down and across a gallery hall behind the Zhaolie Temple (Wuhou Shrine is lower than Zhaolie Temple, representing the ancient relationship of dominator to official), the Hall of Zhuge Liang will come into sight. In the main hall, the statues of the three generations of Zhuge Liang are consecrated, among which the gilding statue of Zhuge Liang, wearing a silk ribbon scarf on the head and holding a feather fan on the hand, lies in the middle of the hall.

Wuhou Shrine Chengdu

On the west side of the Hall of Zhuge Liang is the Mausoleum of Liu Bei which is historically known as "Hui Mausoleum". This treasure land was selected by Zhuge Liang as the mausoleum for Liu Bei in which Liu Bei and his two wives were buried. In front of the Mausoleum, there is a tablet "Mausoleum of Zhaolie Emperor" which was set up during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. The Hui Mausoleum faces south as Wuhou Shrine, and is adjacent to the west side of Zhaolie Temple and Wuhou Shrine, with a red wall between the Hui Mausoleum and Wuhou Shrine.